recall that there was some heated debate on this site, earlier this month, about Martin Luther King Jr, and how his life and
legacy life should be interpreted on film.
It all stared when Oliver Stone announced that he was
giving up on his King bio-pic for Warners and Dreamworks, because of the King family and other gatekeepers’ interference, and their objection to his screenplay for the
film. Shortly after that, was the news that Oprah
Winfrey was coming on board as one of the producers on Ava DuVernay’s Selma project
And then Tambay
followed up with a piece about who has the right to tackle Kings’ legacy on
film, and what responsibilities they should have, if any, in interpreting King’s story
honestly (whatever their definition of that is), or to tell his story in way that they feel will
work best for their film.
Therefore, this new indie project, Raiding MLK, seems
to come at the right time.
directed by Houston based indie
filmmaker Jesse Young III, the film takes a decidedly different angle on MLK.
Instead of chronicling King’s life
and achievements, Young’s film explores who of owns his legacy, telling
the story of a group of activists who go on a series of heists to find the
hidden FBI documents on MLK.
The documents tell the truth about MLK, his
assassination and the FBI’s involvement. In a moment the truth comes out changing
our record of history and the world.
also produced the film with JaQuay Young
and Lakisha Lemons, with Lee Waddell and Johnny Walters, starring, is clearly in the Stone camp, feeling that, in
telling the story of King, no secrets should be hidden, no matter what.
Stone’s situation is unfortunate. If he could appropriately tell the stories of
Nixon, George W. Bush and JFK (three former presidents of the United States)
I’m sure he knows how to handle MLK’s story with respect and dignity. Hopefully
Raiding MLK will break down some barriers and allow for Mr. Stone’s concept to
Here’s a film
clip from Raiding MLK, which is scheduled to come out next month: